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NO BAKE LILAC BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE (6-inch)

Korean Radish shidonna raven

Source: Culture Eatz

Ingredients

  • Lilac flowers (pesticide free)
  • egg white
  • fine granular sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup crushed granola
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 can condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lilac flowers, stems removed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lilac vodka (see notes)
  • 1 cup blueberries + extra for decoration

Instructions

  1. Candied Lilacs: thin an egg white with a bit of water and beat well. Dip flowers in and shake excess off. Pour the sugar over the flowers with a spoon to cover completely. Leave to dry on a parchment paper for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Crust: add butter, brown sugar, granola and salt to a food processor. Pulse until combined. Pour into a 6 inch springform pan, press down evenly with a spoon and refrigerate.
  3. Add gelatin to boiling water to soften and set aside.
  4. In the a food processor, mix condensed milk and lemon juice and pulse until a bit thickened.
  5. Add in the cream cheese, gelatin, lilac flowers and vodka, and the ricotta. Pulse until combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Pour half of the filling evenly over the crust in the cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of blueberries over the filling. Set aside.
  7. To the remaining filling add 1/2 cup of blueberries and pulse until blended.
  8. Pour the filling gently over the blueberries and spread evenly on the top.
  9. Refrigerate overnight and decorate with extra blueberries and candied lilacs if desired.

Notes

Lilac Vodka: in a small jar pack some lilac flowers and cover with vodka. Shake the jar once a day for 2 weeks. Strain out the flowers.

Flowers often go under used when it comes to cooking and baking? How can you incorporate edible flowers into your recipes? How do you use edible flowers now? Which flowers will you grow?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Spring Salad with Edible Flowers

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: The View from Great Island

Ingredients

  • 5 ounce clamshell pack of baby spring greens mix
  • 1 small sweet onion such as Vidalia Maui, or any generic sweet onion
  • assorted edible flowers
  • 1/4 cup dressing of your choice

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the onion into paper thin rounds. The easiest way to do this is with a mandoline slicer. if you don’t have one, just get them as thin as you can. Separate the rings.
  • Put the dressing at the bottom of a very large salad bowl.
  • Put the greens and onions into the bowl, but don’t mix with the dressing.
  • Scatter the edible flowers across the top of the salad.
  • Bring the salad to the table and toss with the dressing just before serving.
  • Alternately you can serve the dressing on the side.

Notes:

  • Be careful to only use the blossoms of these edible flowers…other parts of the plant, such as the leaves, etc.,  may be inedible.
  • To store edible flowers for a short time, either put them in water, if they still have their stems, and put that in the refrigerator, or line a plastic storage container with a damp paper towel and lay them out in a single layer, cover, and put in the refrigerator.  Plan to use them asap.

What a quick and easy salad. This is such an easy way to incorporate flowers into ones plate. Which flowers will you use? Which flowers will you grow? Try the recipe and let us know what you think.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Edible petals pack nutrients

echinacea plant shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: The Seattle Times
By Barbara Quinn /The Monterey County Herald

No, I wasn’t attracted to this wine promotion just because it is the same name as my nephew, Josh. I was curious with this company’s idea that the scent of a spring flower is much like the aroma of a favorite glass of wine.

We can do more than just smell flowers this spring. Many of these pretties are edible, say plant experts. Add flower petals to salads, cheese spreads or salad dressings. Freeze them in ice cubes to dress up cold beverages. Some flowers can even be used to make wine.

The scientific name for people who eat flowers for food is floriphagia (flori-FA-gea). And it’s not a particularly new practice, say food historians. Native Americans for example, have long enjoyed eating blossoms from pumpkin and squash plants.

Edible flowers can also contribute to our nutritional health, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Although nutritional analyses of edible flowers is limited, researchers have identified several nutrients in the petals of flowers including vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and potassium.

Colorful flowers also signal the presence of phytochemicals (natural substances in plants) found to be beneficial to human health. Pigments that make roses red and nasturtiums orange for example, are rich in substances called polyphenols. These compounds are rich in antioxidant properties, which may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Be cautious before imbibing on any flower in the garden, however. Some plants and their flowers are poisonous, caution experts at the Oregon Poison Center: ohsu.edu/xd/outreach/oregon-poison-center/you-and-your-family/plantsafety.cfm

Further, do not eat flowers purchased at a nursery or roadside stand unless it is labeled as edible. And avoid any flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides not approved for edible plants or grown in soil fertilized with untreated manure (that which has not been composted).

And if you suffer with allergies or hay fever this time of year, flower pollen might not be the best idea.

Here are a few edible flower offerings:

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is dark burgundy colored and has the aroma of dark chocolate … yum. Add the petals or young leaves to salads, say culinary experts. Enjoy with a glass of Cabernet Savignon, say experts at Josh Cellars.

Rose petals: Rose hips — the round part of the flower just below the petals — have been found to contain vitamin C, a potent antioxidant nutrient. And if roses smell good, they will probably taste good, say food experts. Use rose petals to garnish summer beverages and fruit dishes. Rose petals also make attractive cake decorations.

Lavender: Use lavender flowers in sweet as well as savory dishes, say garden experts Thompson & Morgan. Or check out the Lavender Harvest Celebration this summer at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, Calif., with a sumptuous lunch buffet infused with lavender delicacies. (My favorite in years past was lavender lemonade.)

Nasturtium: If you can learn to spell these delightful garden climbers, you deserve to eat them. Nasturtiums are related to the cruciferous vegetable family known for their cancer-fighting abilities. Similar in taste to its close family member watercress, Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a peppery flavor that can spice up salads or sandwiches. Use the flowers to garnish steaks or casseroles, suggests Thompson & Morgan.

By the way Dandelion — the flower I love to hate — is also edible if it’s not soaked in pesticide. Some folks even make wine from it. I think I’ll stick to a nice chardonnay.Barbara Quinn /

Which flowers do you like best? What are the nutritional and dietary benefits? Which flowers will you grow?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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The Edible Flower Garden

There are many types of gardens from vegetable, to kitchen to the flower garden. Your flower gardens can be for more than making beautiful arrangements, creating a rain garden or gracing your yard. Flower gardens can also be edible. Edible gardens can include flowers used to make teas, tinctures, salads, fried garnishes, cups, deserts, ice cubes and more. The possibilities seem as endless as your culinary imagination. Indeed many chefs world-wide enjoy using these delicate edibles.

Which type of garden will you grow? Where will your garden be located: on a kitchen sill, a porch or in your yard? What purposes will your garden serve: managing flood waters or gracing your plates with fruits from your garden? How many seasons will you have your garden?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Jasminum Nudiflorum – Winter Jasmine

Source: Wikipedia

Jasminum nudiflorum, the winter jasmine, is a slender, deciduous shrub native to China (GansuShaanxiSichuanXizang (Tibet), Yunnan). The flower’s blossoming peaks right after winter, which is why it is also named Yingchun (迎春) in Chinese, which means “the flower that welcomes Spring”. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is reportedly naturalized in France and in scattered locations in the United States (TexasOklahomaGeorgiaTennesseeMaryland and New Jersey).[2][3][4]

Leaves

It grows to 3 m (10 ft) tall and wide,[5] with arching green shoots and opposite, pinnate, dark green leaves. Each leaf is divided into three oval-oblong leaflets which are about 3 cm long.[4][6]

As its name suggests, in the Northern Hemisphere winter jasmine flowers from November to March. The solitary flowers, often appearing on the bare stems (hence the Latin nudiflorum, literally “naked flower”)[7] have six petals and are bright yellow, or white, about 1 cm across, appearing in the leaf axils.

Jasminum nudiflorum is valued by gardeners as one of the few plants that are in flower during the winter months. It is frequently trained against a wall to provide extra warmth and shelter,[11] but also lends itself to groundcover.[5] It tolerates hard pruning and should be pruned in spring immediately after flowering; regular pruning will help to prevent bare patches. It can also be grown as a bonsai and is very tolerant of the wiring methods. It likes full sun or partial shade and is hardy.

What can you grow in the winter? What region are you in? What grows best in your region?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Fall in Bloom

Marigold Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We sent out several plants from herbs to flowers across the Hampton Roads area. Thank you for all the updates and reports! This Marigold that was sent out is doing very well, even in the fall. Soon winter preparations will be made for her. We recommended the new owner gift the flower they grew to someone. They gave a resounding ‘no’, and stated they would be keeping this flower they got as a plantling all for themselves. We don’t blame them. They did an excellent job growing her from a little plantling into a tall beautiful fall flower.

What will you grow? How are your plants doing? What are your winter preparations for your plants?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Growing Marigold

Marigold Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We received a report that one of the Marigold Plants we sent out is doing very well. While we have begun preparations for bringing the plants in for the winter this Marigold is still outside and doing well as this winter has had unusual moments of high temperatures. Like many flowers the foliage comes first and then bursts of blooms. This flower has a tall and sturdy stalk with lots of foliage and a bud that looks like it is ready to bloom autumn colors of yellow just in time for Halloween. Like many foods and flowers, Marigolds come in many varieties.

What are your favorite flowers? Which flowers would you choose for a rain garden? Why?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Tea in Bloom

Tea Infuser Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Speaking of flowers, flowers and herbs are often used to make the teas we enjoy. Teas are also a way of harvesting plants with medicinal powers for consumption. Chamomile tea is one of many teas with medicinal properties. The following are some of its benefits.

Benefits of chamomile tea

The potential benefits of chamomile tea, for which there is the most evidence, include:

1. Reducing menstrual pain

Several studies have linked chamomile tea to reduced severity of menstrual cramps. A 2010 study, for example, found that consuming chamomile tea for a month could reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. Women in the study also reported less anxiety and distress associated with period pain.

2. Treating diabetes and lowering blood sugar

Again, some studies have found that chamomile tea can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Research does not show that chamomile is a viable substitute for diabetes medications, but it may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments.

Similarly, a 2008 study of rats found that consistent consumption of chamomile tea might prevent blood sugar from increasing. This effect reduces the long-term risk of diabetes complications, suggesting that chamomile could improve diabetes outcomes.

3. Slowing or preventing osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the progressive loss of bone density. This loss increases the risk of broken bones and stooped posture. While anyone can develop osteoporosis, it is most common among post-menopausal women. This tendency may be due to the effects of estrogen.

2004 study found that chamomile tea might have anti-estrogenic effects. It also helped promote bone density, but the study’s authors caution that further research is needed to prove this apparent benefit.

4. Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is an immune system reaction to fight infection. Chamomile tea contains chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. However, long-term inflammation is linked to a wide range of health problems, including hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and even depression.

5. Cancer treatment and prevention

Some studies suggest that chamomile tea may target cancer cells, or even prevent those cells from developing in the first place. However, research so far is inconclusive, and scientists say more work is needed to prove chamomile’s anti-cancer claims. Also, most research has looked at clinical models in animals, not humans.

2012 study compared the cancer-fighting powers of marigold and chamomile teas. Both were able to target cancer tumors selectively, but the effects of marigold tea were more potent.

6. Helping with sleep and relaxation

Chamomile tea is widely thought to help people relax and fall asleep. Few clinical trials have tested this, however.

In one review of the current evidence, 10 of 12 cardiovascular patients are quoted as having fallen asleep shortly after consuming chamomile tea. A handful of other studies looking at clinical models also suggest that chamomile tea may help people relax.

In a study using rats, chamomile extract helped sleep-disturbed rodents fall asleep. Many researchers believe that chamomile tea may function like a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs that can reduce anxiety and induce sleep. Some research suggests that chamomile binds to benzodiazepine receptors.

A review looking at the ability of chamomile tea to reduce anxiety is inconclusive. Some studies show a modest anti-anxiety benefit, but others do not.

7. Treating cold symptoms

Anecdotal evidence and some studies suggest that inhaling steam with chamomile extract can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. But this benefit is not proven yet.

8. Treatment for mild skin conditions

small 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound assisted healing. Likewise, a few studies have found that chamomile ointments may help with eczema and mild inflammatory skin conditions, although they are not as effective as hydrocortisone cream.
Source: Medical News Today

What are your favorite teas? What are their medicinal purposes? What are the benefits of their medicinal purposes?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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MiMi’s Response

Cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

We are surrounded by nature and God’s wonders constantly. But, when one slows down or stops to take a closer look, things begin to look a little different. One can see how the small and simple things are connected to the big and profound things. Indeed when you observe nature and all its wonders the discoveries are endless. Scientist have only begun to scratch the surface in some areas. So, when MiMi saw her Cynoglossum Amabile blossom, she had a sense of awww that I have heard many adults echo as the garden grew one sprout at a time. It is easy to stand in aww of God when you see how a little water, soil, seed and sunlight can transform a tiny seed into trees and if we are lucky a delicious watermelon.

How have you observed the wonder of God? Many people have simply said “wow” in response to the progress of the garden. What were your “wow” moments? MiMi and Mom decided to start growing their own edible flowers and purchased a growing kit. How can you start your own “wow” moments? Share your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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MiMi’s Flower

cynoglossum amabile shidonna raven garden and cook

MiMi’s flower has come a long way since they were just a couple of seeds. Her flowers’ have begun to finally blossom into beautiful clusters of deep lavender. They began as a few seeds in a growing kit. MiMi and Mom have since gotten their own growing kit with 2 different flowers. MiMi’s gift blossomed into a wonderful exploration between MiMi and Mom into starting their own kitchen garden. And the Cynoglossum Amabiles are a wonderful addition to our front porch. What easy and simple ways can you start your own garden along with MiMi, Mom and many others. Since the beginning of the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for various reasons. Do you think starting a garden as a response to the pandemic is a good idea? Why? Share your thoughts below by posting a comment. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing!

Cynoglossum Amabile – MiMi’s Flower
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook